Al Golden encouraged by Hurricanes scrimmage

Miami (FL) head coach Al Golden seemed pretty positive about Saturday’s scrimmage.

Over 3,000 fans attended the scrimmage at Spanish River HS in Boca Raton.

Running backs coach Terry Richardson and offensive line coach Art Kehoe had to be pleased with the 226 rushing yards on 41 carries (5.5 average).

Golden was most pleased with no turnovers and just a few penalties.

“Correct me if I’m wrong, did we have a turnover today?  We didn’t have many penalties,” Golden pointed out.

“I think it’s our job as coaches to put our players in position to make plays.  I thought we did that today.”

“I thought we caught some really good slants today.  That’s something we didn’t do a year ago.  We’ll continue to develop the down-the-field game as the spring evolves.”

One early emphasis offensively has been taking the check down throws to the running backs.

Golden explained, “It should be.  It’s got to be.  I think Jedd (Fisch) has done a great job of that.  Our quarterbacks have done a good job of buying in to that.  A 5 yards catch, it’s an 18 yards run, but goes in the books as a 23 and that’s what our kids gotta learn.”

There was still no sighting of the Hurricanes' receivers utilizing Michael Irvin's three-point stance.  Wide receivers coach George McDonald hasn't bought in to the idea just yet.  But...it is early.

Video: Up close in the action at Clemson's afternoon practice

Dabo Swinney says new offensive coordinator Chad Morris has simplified the terminology of the Tigers’ scheme.

A year ago, Billy Napier would have dialed up, “Storm personnel, flood right, A-peel, Lakers West, Z-space, hitch.”

For the same play this spring, Morris calls, “Flood right, Z-space, hitch.”

Dabo says, “(Last year), you had to call personnel, formation and movement; now we have eliminated a few of those steps in the play-call sequence, and I think that has helped a little bit.”

“That helps with your tempo, but the biggest thing is just the system of it is simpler in how it all fits together. It’s simpler to grasp.”

The Tigers returned to practice field today.  Most of the 3 on 3 and some 1 on 1 action was caught up close on film.

Pretty good film, but we’d like to have Marion Hobby and Robbie Caldwell mic’d up.  Now that would be some good stuff.

Mullen: The offensive line is just really really bad

Dan Mullen is hoping for over 40,000 fans on campus next Saturday for for the Mississippi State spring game.

That gives Mullen a week to clean up what he calls “a really sloppy offense.”

Following Thursday’s practice, Mullen didn't sugarcoat his thoughts about the offense and specifically, the offensive line.

“It’s just sloppy, really sloppy.  The offensive line is just really really bad, a long way to go, but it’s a really young crew.  We’ll get ‘em going.”

He added, “The defense was great at times.  They were great at times because the offense was really bad.  They were great at times because they did good, but there were really some glaring mistakes.  As we keep developing and keep teaching, you want to see a consistent performance and that’s not what we are seeing right now, but we have a lot of practice time to get that fixed.”

Mullen also mentioned he would like to see consistency from his young punters, who both have tremendous leg strength.

CSS will broadcast the spring game next Saturday.  Former Mississippi State head coach Jackie Sherrill will serve as an analyst.  The Bulldogs’ baseball team hosts Florida at 12 pm before kick-off of the spring game at 5 pm.

To add some depth on the offensive line, Mullen visited with the Sigma Chi’s today at lunch.  We heard there weren't many prospects, but a number frat guys ready for Super Bulldog Weekend.


Les Miles lands new gig with reality TV

LSU sports marketing posted their annual April fool’s joke on the LSU official website this morning.

It’s a pretty good one that pokes fun of Les Miles' habit of eating grass.

The title of the press release: Les Miles to be featured on SPIKE TV’s “Sod Wars.”

Sod Wars pits two homeowners against each other to determine who has the best yard in the neighborhood. Each contestant is given a $10,000 budget for the week to create a dream landscape in their yard, with celebrity judges determining the winner.

Within the week-long period there will be bonus points based on challenges and obstacles such as wild animals and destruction of flower beds with explosives that wreak havoc on the contestants.

Miles, who starts his seventh year with the Tigers in 2011, became a fan favorite of yard enthusiasts everywhere in 2010 when he was seen on national television sampling a piece of turf from Tiger Stadium prior to big play late in the fourth quarter in a win over Alabama. Since then, Miles has become a coveted spokesperson for many lawn and garden companies throughout the country.

The press release quotes Les as saying, "I have always enjoyed reality television and the want to be a part of a project with Bob Sacamano is something that has always interested me. I take pride in both of my yards - the one at my house and the one in Tiger Stadium. I think with my expertise in grass growing and my ability to spot talent makes this a perfect fit.”

The Tigers even created a fake “Sod Wars” website.

Once again, LSU sports marketing nails it.

James Franklin has clear priority at Vanderbilt

It started at his introductory press conference.  Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin made sure to emphasize perhaps the most important thing he has to do is sign a big-time quarterback.

Franklin wants to find the next Josh Freeman and he is truly excited about his quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne.

Franklin told ESPN, “I take a lot of pride in what we’ve been able to do with quarterbacks. We hired a guy named Ricky Rahne (as quarterbacks coach), who coached with me at Kansas State. I think he’s one of the hot, up and coming guys in this profession. He’s a really, really smart guy who played quarterback at Cornell.”

“I spent time in Philadelphia around Donovan McNabb. I spent time in Green Bay with Brett Favre, and in the same year, we drafted Aaron Rodgers. I go to Kansas State, and we recruit a guy by the name of Josh Freeman, who’s a first-round draft choice, and then go to Maryland and recruit and coach a kid by the name of Danny O’Brien, who was ACC Rookie of the Year.”

“I just feel like I’ve been around some pretty good quarterbacks and know what they look like and have studied the traits that have allowed them to be successful. I feel pretty confident that we’re going to be able to make an impact in the careers of the quarterbacks we have here, and we’re going to be able to attract quarterbacks for the future. We have a proven track record of being able to do it.”

Larry Smith is expected to start at quarterback for the Commordores next season.  Thus far, Franklin has been pleased with Smith and likes his potential.

Vandy opens with three home games against Elon, UCONN, and Ole Miss.  Franklin’s first three road games as a head coach are at South Carolina, at Alabama, and at Florida.

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